Believe it or not, it took Sir James Dyson 12 years to turn his award winning, dual cyclone, bagless vacuum cleaner into a viable business.
“Failure is so much more interesting because you learn from it.”, says, Sir James. Failure, whilst daunting, doesn’t mean you won’t succeed – in fact, it took 5,127 prototype fails to perfect the famous Dyson vacuum.
So, apart from expecting to hear ‘no’ from potential investors, what else can SME businesses, both established and start-ups alike, learn from Sir James’s experiences? Here we share what we find of the most interesting and useful:
1. Adaptability and Changeability:
Business owners, especially in today’s forever changing economy, must be prepared to be adaptable. Ideas cannot be carved in stone, refusing to be flexible. You may have to look at altering your business model, your end user, your materials and suppliers - after all, change is the only guarantee in life.
Sir James never intended to be a manufacturer - his passion was for engineering, yet to bring the vacuum to life he had to change paths, venturing into manufacturing.
2. Make Your Business Human:
When looking at your product offering, and in particular your sales and marketing, make it come to life. By humanising your product you make it more accessible. You can work with emotions - channelled correctly, they are some of the most powerful tools we possess.
Sir James, when he first stepped out to sell his vacuums, admits he sold through people’s frustrations, and fears. He knew that our fears are bigger motivators than our desires. His USP was showing them exactly what the Dyson was hoovering up - people were horrified, but they bought it!
3. Trust Your Instincts:
If you have a real gut instinct for something don’t be afraid to pursue it, yet equally, don’t be too proud to run your ideas past peers and colleagues.
Sir James prides himself on his strong instincts, but he also will look at his team of experienced engineers for counsel.
4. Don’t be Afraid to Take Risks:
Business is a risk. Business is a gamble. Yet, it can reap the biggest rewards. Knowing your market, doing your research, maintaining a fluid cashflow, will support your business to develop, thrive and grow. Equally, if you need to pull an idea, however far down the line you are with it, don’t be afraid to do so - if it’s not making you money it’s damaging your empire.
As Sir James says, his biggest fear is being fearful of taking risks. He also showed how he wasn’t afraid to pull an idea – the Dyson washing machine. It was, arguably, one of the most efficient on the market; however it wasn’t making the company money.
5. Be Aware of The End Game:
Too often business owners spend too much time and money focusing on one product, even if it isn’t working. Don’t be afraid to try a completely different approach if something isn’t working. Don’t be afraid of the unconventional when traditional isn’t working for you.
Sir James has said that all too often, entrepreneurs and business owners are too interested in becoming an entrepreneur or business owner than interested on the product or service that will actually see them succeed.
6. Alternative Finance:
If you’re finding your current finance provider isn’t able to provide you with a fluid cashflow and access to working capital, then consider switching to invoice finance, also known as invoice factoring. We’ve been providing SME businesses with a range of tailored and flexible invoice finance, confidential invoice discounting and selective invoice finance for more than 20 years.
Our services are multi award winning. We have the highest retention rates in the industry and our customer’s grow their businesses faster and stronger through the assistance of invoice finance than those UK businesses using traditional finance options.
Curious? Want to learn more?
Call our friendly and professional team today on 01908 268888 or contact us online and join the 40,000 plus UK businesses successfully growing their businesses through invoice finance.